Friday, July 19, 2013

Overcoming Patient Wait Times

Most healthcare practitioners admit they unintentionally keep a significant number of patients waiting on a daily basis.  A nationwide study by Vitals revealed that "patients wait on average 21 minutes to see a physician, yet wait times vary from state to state, across regions and among major U.S. cities."

For physicians and their practice administrators, its very unrealistic to try and eliminate patient wait times. The main issue is how to keep your patients happy when a appointment delay goes well beyond the norm. Is it possible to turn a major patient inconvenience into a positive experience?

One practice management idea is to address the time delay head on.  It has been recommended by customer service expert Lee Tomlinson that after 15 minutes of waiting "have the receptionist talk to the patient in person and apologize...when it gets to a 30-plus [minute] wait, give your patients some type of acknowledge their inconvenience."

Now imagine how your patient will feel knowing that you recognize and empathize with the inconvenience of a delayed appointment.  How many of your patient's other doctors go above and beyond in this fashion?  In a hectic world, making the effort to acknowledge their time is valuable will help your practice stand out and build customer loyalty.

But what kind of gift can you give without breaking the bank?  Consider the gift of a DVD or Blu-ray(tm) disc movie rental. At only $1.99 delivered via text message, a movie rental is cost effective and can provide your patient and family/friends with a couple of hours of true entertainment.

txtMovies was designed to be used by medical offices to quickly and easily provide patient appreciation.  By simply using a computer, tablet or smartphone to enter a patient's mobile number into the txtMovies app, selecting a pre-set message (or optionally customizing a message), healthcare practitioners can easily deliver a Movie Rental Code which patients can use to reserve and rent a movie.

txtMovies uses Redbox(tm) Movie Rental Codes.  Redbox is the nationwide leader in DVD and Blu-ray(tm) movie rentals and has the largest network of movie rental kiosks with over 34,500 locations so it will be easy for your patients to find a location to rent their desired movie.

In addition to making up for a delayed appointment, Movie Rentals make excellent "thank you" gifts for patients when they refer a friend or family member to your practice.  Because the cost is de minimis it doesn't violate any referral guidelines. Gifts of Movie Rentals can also be used for employee/staff appreciation as well.

Click try a demonstration to see how txtMovies works.  If you're ready to start sending Movie Rental Codes click here to create an account.

Questions?  Visit our website at  Enjoy!